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Sunny July Days, Sweet and Dangerous

In mid-July, while visiting family in Minnesota, I had the pleasure of attending a baseball game with my sister’s family and hanging out in the section at the end of the third baseline. Baseball is the best. The Mud Hens were hitting virtually every pitch, and the score was 8 to 1 by the time of the seventh inning stretch. Did I care that the Saints were losing? Not at all.

At one point, a little girl dropped off the top of the wall before us, and a player ran over to pick her up and put her back, uninjured, with the spectators. A man behind us caught a baseball and kindly lofted it to a nearby kid. My sister offered me a chocolate shake. Then came the rainbow over the outfield, and the July evening couldn’t have been sweeter.

Of course, that was ten days ago. This week the entire world is on fire. Heat is breaking records all over the globe, and my own New England town is smack in the middle of yet another heat advisory, with the heat index near 100. We saw this coming. That’s what bugs me, honestly. We saw climate change happening back in the 70’s when we called it “global warming,” and we didn’t do enough to stop it. Here’s why: regular humans conduct their lives in a day-to-day mindset, and it’s nearly impossible for us to organize effectively to combat a massive, faceless problem, especially when the oligarchs are fattening their own pockets at the expense of everyone else.

But nearly impossible isn’t entirely impossible. The Saints were losing, but they didn’t stop playing. The point is to keep trying. We have our small, everyday actions when we drive less, avoid cranking the air conditioning up to freezing (if we’re among the lucky who have it), and strive to be polite to each other so we can have open dialogues. Then we have our mid-scale actions where we donate to causes, support schools that teach real science, and protect libraries that offer uncensored books. Then we have our less frequent, large-scale actions where we collectively vote to elect leaders who understand our plight and have the ability to change far-reaching policies.

At all levels, our actions add up. Our planet is begging us to fight for it.

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